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Exclusive: Testing Intel's Unreleased Core i9-9900KS

Core i9-9900KS Final Fantasy XV and Grand Theft Auto V

MemoryChart Entry
DDR4-2666Core i9-9900KS CL, i9-9900K, 9900K @ 5.0 DDR4-2666, Ryzen 7 3700X, Ryzen 9 3900X
DDR4-3600Core i9-990KS @ 5.2, Core i9-9900K @ 5.0, Ryzen 9 3900X PBO, Ryzen 7 3700X PBO

Final Fantasy XV

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We run this test with the standard quality preset to sidestep the impact of a bug that causes the game engine to render off-screen objects with the higher-resolution setting.

The Core i9-9900KS again takes the lead over both the stock and tuned -9900K with normalized memory settings. The Ryzen 3900X is more competitive in this title, essentially tying the stock Core -9900K, but the stock KS takes a 2.7 fps lead. That gap widens to 10.9 fps after tuning both processors.  

However, it is noteworthy that the out-of-the-box Ryzen 9 3900X offers a better 99th percentile frame time measurement than the stock KS. We also spot the overclocked -9900KS suffering from a few outliers that register as a higher 99.9th-percentile measurement. 

Grand Theft Auto V

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Grand Theft Auto V favors Intel architectures and, more generally, multi-core designs with high clock rates. The Ryzen 9 3900X goes a long way to improving AMD's standing in this title, nearly matching the stock -9900K. Of course, Intel is eager to stave off that assault with its KS model. The KS lives up to its billing and offers a few extra frames over the tuned 3900X, but if you're not overclocking it might not be worth the extra cash for a relatively small gain. If overclocking is in your plans, the -9900KS is the clear winner. 


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